VGM DC Link Blog Home

Committee hearing on Medicare issues displays many bipartisan solutions

On Wednesday afternoon, House Ways and Means committee members met to discuss their proposals, which allowed for Budget Chairman and DME industry champion Tom Price, M.D (R-Ga.) to present his proposal: The Patient Access to Durable Medical Equipment Act, H.R. 5210.

Dr. Price made a very compelling argument that, contrary to what CMS is claiming, access to care is being diminished across the country as providers are forced to reduce service areas, reduce staff or even close their doors for business. Price went on to say, “CMS is saving money, according to them, by decreasing services and limiting access to care, and it is happening right now. It is not happening just in a fictitious way potentially in the future.”

Price and other committee members voiced their concerns and opposition to the competitive bidding program, which Price would later add, “[Competitive bidding] literally is harming lives as we speak. Essential services, including oxygen, are being denied to patients because of difficulty gaining those services. In rural areas it is a huge problem. In many rural areas of the country, the amount paid for these services doesn’t even cover the cost.” Click here to view a clip of the discussion on H.R. 5210.

The consistent theme throughout the meeting was just how crucial keeping health care in rural America is to the fabric of our country. This hearing also reinforced that HME, CRT and audits are a top priority for multiple congressional members. The grassroots efforts are showing great success and broad support, but we must continue to reach every member of Congress we can to urge their support! Visit the VGM Action Center, and see how you can play an active role in securing the future of rural health care!